Factors of Retardation and Ideological Deviance in the Islamic World

One who probes into the recent development and ideological stage that the Muslim Nation (Ummah), as a whole, has lived through, will find that there is a retardation dealing with thought, awareness and culture, and also, one can see a state of erroneous conceptions and complete cultural dependence on both Eastern and Western schools of thought.

These thoughts have affected Islamic concepts and ideas, to such a degree, that the original Islamic identity has been brought to the point of being wiped out and is scarcely found in the Muslim's culture, as well as, his knowledge has been affected by a type of ideological dependence on either the West or East, and his own originality has been put aside for that which he derives from the foreign universities, schools, mass media, literature, culture, art, philosophy, other various sciences and human knowledge, etc.

Thus, the Nation lives without originality or independent identity of belief and with no integral cultural entity. Moreover, some people boast of having either a Western culture or Eastern ideology, to such an extent that it leads to ideological deviance and counter-direction in their lives or Islamic culture of both the young and educated generation.

So, in order to defend Islam from being affected by this serious phenomenon and deviated state, it is necessary to diagnose the disease and the reasons leading to this horrible retardation and thoughtless deviation, which, later on, becomes a kind of ideological and civilizational struggle among the sons of the Islamic Nation by tearing its unity to shreds and pulling down its internal entity. It is obvious to everyone who tries to study and probe into the reasons, as well as, potential factors behind that phenomenon, that he will find that most of them are as follows:

  1. One of the most prominent difficulties that stands, nowadays, in the way of developing and spreading Islamic thought is a problem of ideological terrorism and political persecution, which is practised by governments and arrogant authorities - that at the base are connected to the wheel of either Western or Eastern ideology - against the Islamic intellectuals, thinkers, and well-known contemporary clerics along with the propagandists of Islam, the Islamic foundations and movements. So,

the said terroristic crimes have had a great role in confiscating, hindering, imprisoning, killing and displacing the Islamic writers, thinkers, men of letters, and well-known contemporary intellectuals, by standing in the way of the Islamic ideological movement and of the Islamic missionary work, together with giving opportunities to both the East and West imported culture and ideology to be spread widely by way of encouraging the hostile elements to stand against the original, Islamic one.

In addition to this, the unjust laws and elements of the terroristic services have played a great role in suppressing Islamic freedom of thought and preventing any call for enjoying or making it universal. So, we can see that all the Islamic books, newspapers, and magazines have been prohibited from appearing in the markets and bookshops and have been prevented from entering the schools and universities or public circulation, to such an extent that the Islamic book has even been viewed as a criminal document which rises against those who hold it and has, therefore, been driven back to the outland, in some Muslim countries, that are ruled by anti-Islamic governmental apparatus.

So, some regimes, of Islamic countries, have dealt with the Islamic book as a kind of narcotic and harmful material that has been prohibited under the guise of protecting man. The recent cultural war, together with the ideological terrorism, that was launched against Islamic thought, are no more than a part of the ignorant, arrogant plan to confront the Islamic vocation and thought for the benefit of the pagan ideology that is represented by a degraded, material culture.

These hostile actions are an extension of the ones their ancient, ignorant ancestors had, due to their aggressive war against the divine vocation which is declared by the Holy Qur'an, thus: "And do not lie in wait in every path, threatening and turning away from Allah's way him who believes in Him and seeking to make it crooked..." Holy Qur'an (7:86)

The responsibility of the Islamic thinkers and writers is to stay on their cultural mission by challenging their enemies with the sacrifices of their rest, comfort, and lives, as well as, to dive into the terrorist struggle ordeal with all its dimensions, because they are in charge of defending the Islamic thought and have a great role in undertaking that sacred mission in following the Holy Qur'an when it says: "Those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear anyone but Allah, and Allah is sufficient to take account." Holy Qur'an (33:39)

"Say:This is my way, I call to Allah, I and those who follow me being certain, and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists." Holy Qur'an (12:108)

  1. One of the dangers, that face the Islamic thought, is the attempt of offering Islam in an unreal form and plotting against the original Islamic thought. This attempt is one of the most injurious and oldest ones and takes on various styles and shrewd structures; which is represented by propagating the falsely related traditions and narrations attributed to Allah's prophet (s.a.w.) and the Imams of Ahl-al-Bait (Twelve Imams recognized by the Shi'ite Muslims) - upon whom be blessings and peace - and the `playing on words ' of the Holy Qur'an and interpreting its blessed verses on the basis of misstatement, besides, adding many odd ideas and theories to the sense of Islam by way of merging them with Islamic principles, then, dressing them in Islamic apparal to portray a false Islamic fashion.

Nowadays, attempts are made to present an unreal Islamic thought that only carries either the Islamic title or is in styles similar to those spiteful ones and which are in the benefit of the oppressors, as well as, the universal arrogant powers. The most prominent attempt among the misstated ones, are those that present Islam in a form that is suitable for both the Western and Eastern lives and accommodates the socialistic or capitalistic ideology, particularly in the fields of policy, economy, ownership, business trade and the turnover of wealth and finance.

Another attempt is that which deals with the killing of the sense of Jihad (Islamic holy war) and resistance, through all Muslim generations, to keep them always in fear and under the control of the oppressors' schemes for protecting the oppressors' own interests.

Also, an attempt deals with fixing the idea of being submissive to the ruling oppressors, completely, without showing any kind of resistance against them on the pretext that they are supreme leaders and their obedience is something of a must. Yet another attempt is concerned with describing the Islamic motive as a terroristic action to create a huge gap between it and the masses. Still another most dangerous attempt deals with separating religion from politics and, so on.

Thus, Islamic thought is still confronted by the series of spiteful attempts and misstatements that aim at destroying its purity, originality and motivation. Consequently, it is a must for the Islamic thinkers to explain this fact by watching the trend of the ideological movement, to observe any attempts at misstating and interpolating the Islamic thought, in order that they may keep its originality and clearness, as well as, to be quite sure of the tide of the Nation's movement and awareness of being in a healthy condition.

  1. The Unfamiliarity with Islam: One of the principal reasons for the causes of the ideological and cultural deviation, among the Muslims, is the neglect of Islam and having an ambiguous understanding of its ideas and concepts with regard to belief, economics, politics, society, ethics and other cases of various historical and cultural significance.This is considered the basis of practical and ideological need that tackles the innate problems and domestic cases in man's present world. The above mentioned ignorance resulted from the public relations that were inflicted on Muslims; besides the bad state of affairs that their own societies ultimately reached, along with the illiteracy that had spread among them as a result of the carelessness of the rulers and authorities ruling the Muslims in the name of Islam; i.e., the Ottoman rulers and the like.

  2. Another of the conspicuous reasons for the deviation that was inflicted on the current Muslim generation is the ideological emptiness and lack of work, both in ideological creativity and production, which are necessary to meet the present needs of human thought.

In addition, there was the lack of attention given to the seized culture, the standing against the material and ideological currents that the Islamic countries were invaded with, concentration was only on studying lessons that dealt with jurisprudence, principles, language, theory and classical philosophy, without paying attention to the new needs of the ideological, cultural and practical life, from learning or teaching the research and topics of the above studies. 5. The universities and missionary schools and those who are connected with the missionary movement. The mentioned centers have become the source of broadcasting and spreading of the material and Western ideology that play a major role in turning the Muslim generations away from Islam, as well as, cause mental anguish for them.

Examples of such educational establishments are the secular universities and schools that were set up by the puppet regimes and rulers who are connected with the cultural wheel of Eastern or Western civilization. The young Muslim generation has graduated from these universities and schools knowing nothing about Islam, on the one hand, and are not acquainted with the civilization and ideological information connected with it, on the other hand.

The mentioned establishments have concentrated, directly and indirectly, on driving the beginning students away from the Islamic thought, particularly, in their way of thinking and conduct, throughout those schools and universities. 6. Due to puppet rulers and either the Eastern or Western imported regimes.The agent regimes, in the Islamic lands, and the rulers of the East and West have played a major role in spreading the deviated thought, the sick culture and the pre-Islamic civilization material by applying the imported Eastern or Western laws and regimes along with their leading the knowledge, culture and information to the counter-production of Islamic methods. 7. Factions, organizations, establishments, clubs and societies of deviated sources, which are established on the basis of imported ideology, such as; Marxism, Western democracy, racism and, so on.

It is a fact, that all those mentioned cultural and political establishments have had a part in perverting the minds of the Muslims through deviated education which is not harmonious with the sense of Islam, but, more often than not, stands against it. The world arrogant and zionist powers have spared no efforts in establishing various parties, organizations, and, political and cultural foundations, with culture and thought which is directly opposed to Islam, in order to create a stream of political and ideological agents which are connected with the enemies of the Islamic Nation.

They only wish to represent their own thoughts and tendencies, in life, which leads to divisions and creates a situation of struggle and a wearing away at the ranks of the Islamic Nation, by occupying their territory with a domestic, political and ideological struggle to establish widespread, deviated centers. 8. By means of propaganda and delusions broadcast by the media.As a result of great progress, the mass media has become one of the most complex and dangerous art forms, in the world, due to the direct influence it has on man's life.

Therefore, the arrogant powers, deluded regimes, and their parasites (that master the information and propaganda media, such as; the press, cinema, theatre, television, radio and gossip circles), have been volunteered to fabricate ideological and cultural ' norms ', besides deluding and cheating man. Moreover, they intend to turn the tide of Islamic thought and uprightness aside via decadent literature, the arts, and, a diseased culture, etc.

So, by means of propaganda and the mass media they have concentrated on those aims, by using great effort, in this regard, to create a state of ideological wandering and cultural decline. Furthermore, they have attempted to create a kind of dependent feeling and cognitive beggary among the Muslim generations. We can see many varieties of magazines, newspapers, books and broadcasting stations, which are quite firmly connected to the wheel of cultural and ideological conquest, expressing the tide of anti-Islamic propaganda. 9. The Orientalists. The orientalists have done their best, since long ago, to study the Islamic thought, history, culture and civilization in an attempt to become acquainted with its powerful elements, as well as, the nature of its psychological and ideological composition, in order to take benefit from them, on the one hand, and to plan the shrewd schemes and means for challenging and destroying Islam along with making a detour in the Nation's route, on the other hand.

The orientalism campaign has succeeded in fulfilling a great number of its subversive goals, but the thing that its danger has mostly concentrated on is the way that they have made their thoughts, work and research, on Islam, seemingly in line with its history and civilization and as a source of cultural reality in the schools and universities. Likewise, professors, writers and the educated have been affected by their tendencies, to such a degree, that some of them are rushing to learn under these evil thoughts and, then, quote them with strong satisfaction and emphatic certitude.

The Problems in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Previously, we talked about the enemy strategies that strive to destroy Islamic thought; now, we are going to talk about the domestic problems, of the present situation, that face Islamic thought and thinkers, besides, the weak-points of trying to compose our thoughts and their technical structures. In this regard, we would like, here, to write down some of the self-critical reasons for the nonprogressiveness that Muslims are encountering:

  1. One of the principal vexations that face Islamic thought is that of being too late in forming theory. Most Islamic writers have laid more emphasis on the fields of culture and guidance, only, and their works are restricted to research and essays or books on the culture of society. We are still lacking Islamic theories, in contrast to various others which deal with contemporary ideology, to meet the needs existing in the arena of conflict throughout most of civilization, today. Moreover, we need to close the gap of inactivity of the mind that Muslims have suffered with for so long.

The educated generation at the established universities, in Muslim countries, are still teaching Marxist or Western theories in the fields of economics, politics, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy and, so on. As for the Muslim writers, they have not yet reached the decision to form Islamic theories, because of their being requested to work at the technical and scientific levels, in spite of there being ample rich, ideological sujbects to write about.

They are still in need of discovering, crystalizing, theorizing and reforming, in order to be able to, both, build the Islamic, contemporary, civilized mind and put the Islamic cultural structure in a full, well-ordered frame to help us to take benefit from the ideological originality and Islamic commitment. Reflecting back on the stages of the Islamic ideological history, with regard to evolution, integration and dealing with the imported foreign ideology, can give us a very brilliant image which portrays the genius of the well-known, Islamic, contemporary clergy and thinkers. They have formed Islamic thought with its complete and different aspects by leaving behind themselves millions of books and valuable scientific works.

  1. There are some other fields, of culture, that have been briefly entered into by the Islamic writers; but, their writings are limited, such as; the novel and narration, library, criticism, art, values, sociology studies and other such matters of civilization which the teachers of the Muslims are in much need of.

  2. It is clear, that a great deal of produced Islamic written material is no more than a kind of repetition where the sense of excellence and creativity is totally absent from the style, expression, presentation and deduction of it. Also, the same production has not covered all the topics and social, ideological theses which have a great influence on the Islamic culture.

On the contrary, we can find some of the cheaper, more meaningless and half-written productions that have badly affected Islamic thought and greatly reduced its precious value, especially, the ones that bear the meaning of cursing and doctrinal accusations, as well as, the ones that delve into the cases which are not in the benefit of the Nation. They tear its unity to shreds, by poisoning the minds of the Muslim youth in projecting, for them, a fossilized and untrue image of Islamic thought.

  1. Also, one of the problems that Islamic thought has, so far, suffered from is the shortage of Islamic prominent thinkers and writers, such as; Martyrs al-Sadr, Saiyed Qotub, al-Shaikh Morteza Mutahhari and Abu al-Ala'-al-Moudodi (upon whom be Allah's blessings and peace) who have remarkable written and comprehensive talents that deal with the principles of Islamic ideology and culture along with the problems that arise which contemporary man may be faced with in his lifetime.

We can say that one of the problems that may stunt the growth of Islamic thought and cage cultural creativity and diffusion is the neglect which is shown to the new Islamic writer, with regard to his talents, and, the fact that his written product, on culture, is not published.

Many talented, new Islamic writers are still deprived of taking part in either writing about culture or authorship of such books, due to the lack of care that is allocated to the printing of their manuscript and distribution of their book, as well as, the lack of encouragement they receive and, so on. Consequently, most of the Islamic, ideological products have become like an article of trade, only, and in the favour of the printing shops' owners, publishing houses and distributing agencies.

Nevertheless, the Islamic missionary work is too great to pay much attention to materialistic matters and live on, but, it is a fact that the Islamic men of letters and journalists are in need of such material necessities, which must be taken into consideration with regard to patronage and care. So, there is a necessity in the cultural establishment to set up the publishing of Islamic thought and culture subject-matter and ignore the profits of trade. The mentioned establishment must pay more attention to the new Islamic men of letters and writers by encouraging and developing their talents by publishing their written product to meet their material needs, besides, letting the talented ones delve into the cultural tasks and allocate their efforts for writing and composing books, as well as, give them a chance to watch the world ideological movement in order to fight the tendencies that may stand against the Islamic thought via increasing the cultural production to meet the needs of the Muslims and tackle the problems that they face.

Of course, the responsibility, in this respect, will mainly fall upon the shoulders of the Islamic state, and benevolent foundations, theological schools, Islamic universities and those who are working to propagate Islam and spread its message.

Factors of Vigilance and Stimulation In The Islamic World

During the past centuries, the Islamic Nation has fallen into a deep slumber and dreadful bewilderment caused by neglecting the greatness of Islam and its leading role in human life, to the point that it has lost its status in a scientific and cultural reality. This lethargy has resulted in transferring the Nation from being a pioneer in the fields of thought, culture, civilization and having a following for the beliefs and principles, to an underdeveloped one, imitating foreign thoughts, cultural and political theories, as well as, the fashions of the present civilization.

So, the Nation has stopped resisting the conquest of Eastern and Western thought, politics, economics and morals that represented the low, pagan and materialistic civilization. Therefore, we can see that the ways of social life, with regard to all their cultural, ethical, political and economical dimensions, look, utterly, like a model of the Western and Eastern ones; so far removed from the Islamic style that is offered by the Holy Qur'an and the purified sunnah (of the Prophet). In spite of underdevelopment, the comatose state, the Muslims' ignorance about the greatness of Islam (and its power of building man on the grounds of goodness, uprightness, and literary progress), there has been a renewed spirit of awakening and vigilance and liberation has crept, once again, into the Islamic world since the beginning of the 20th century.

A sense of objecting and resisting has appeared for standing against the imperialist conquest with all its various species, such as; Capitalism, Marxism, Zionism, racism and, so on. Of course, this resistance has taken on many forms, all over the world; for instance, the ideological, political and militaristic struggle, as well as, the behavioral and ethical ones, etc.

The reality of Islam struggling with the foreign, present ideology accompanied by the ideological conquest - that may take place anywhere in universities, schools, factories, houses, socieites, newpapers, factions, movements and in social and cultural establishments - means that the Islamic Nation is still living in the stages of wakefulness, readiness and rising by going back to its great Qur'anic glory and power. He who deeply probes into this fact, and tries to diagnose the potential factors behind the signs of ideological wakefulness and vigilance, will be able to find many motives and reasons that led to this ideological renaissance and Islamic vigilance on one level in all feilds, especially the political one, as well as, the establishment of an Islamic government that applies the legal verdicts and principles in life.

The prominent factors of this renaissance are as follows:

  1. The attitude of well-known contemporary Muslim clerics and theological schools: The scholars and authorities on Islamic law; likewise, the religious establishments, have made a leading and missionary stand against the colonial conquest, as well as, sending military help to Muslim countries when they declared holy struggle (Jihad) in answer to the imperialist invaders and guided the masses to follow the resistance and armed struggle.

Of course, the mentioned stand has left an immense impact on and stirred up the Muslims' feelings; together with the Nation's awareness with the spirit of refusal and resistance against the occupying oppressors, all over the Islamic world, like; Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, North West Africa, Muslim African countries, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and other regions of the Islamic world; as well as, the communistic controlled Muslim homeland. By the way, only through holy war (Jihad) and draft evasion has the meaning of the civilized, political and ideological refusal been realized. So, the holy resistance has generally formed an act of utter refusal of the colonial existence with its various aspects and ways of being.

The mentioned efforts have reaped the fruits of success by both driving the colonists out and awakening the Muslims to being more vigilant, via planting the seeds of revolution and religious zeal. Moreover, the well-known contemporary clerics - who have fanned out in cities, villages and rural areas - play a great role in keeping Islam intact and making the Muslim people very attached to their belief.

It is noticeable that the religious activity has sometimes only addressed the performance of prayers and produced a decree pertaining to worship and personal status without paying much attention to the civil and political affairs or to the social matters of the Muslims.

However, that activity started changing when it took part in political affairs and was more careful about the cases of civilization and society which encouraged some people to establish Islamic movements and other factions and organizations. For instance, one example is the successful implementation of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which was led by the well-known contemporary clerics, while other clerics worked on leading the political struggle for the sake of setting up Islam in other countries of the Islamic world.

  1. In general, all the imported regimes and laws have been doomed to failure, and were unable to tackle the problems of the Muslims: This coincides with a great increase in practicing tyranny, and political persecution; the confiscation of human rights, liberties and dignity by the dominant rulers and regimes. In addition, the increase of arrogant powers and the misusing of wealth, due to economic exploitation and political domination by the world powers, particularly after the Muslims' tragedy that took place in Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Philippines with other regions of the Islamic world, resulted in stirring up the Muslims' awareness in the ideological and political sense by motivating them to Jihad against their arrogant enemies.

  2. The reforming of societies and religious schools:

In respect to the moral and ideological corruption which has spread throughout the whole Islamic world like wildfire; likewise, because culture and education moved in a counter-direction towards the Islamic trend, some of the honest have acted quickly in establishing reform assemblies to stand against the current of corruption and moral degradation, besides, building schools to educate the Muslims with model Islamic culture. These are loyal actions that stir the Muslims to action inspite of their limited influence and activity.

  1. Islamic Faculties and Movements:

The Islamic faculties and movements, in most of the Islamic countries, have been built on the basis of Islam by the Muslim thinkers and well-known contemporary clerics that call for establishing the Islamic society and Islamic State along with confronting the political and ideological conquest of the Muslim homeland. Finally, the Islamic faculties and movements have achieved a great success in discovering a new ideological current, as well as, a deep and developed cultural product owing to many Islamic scholars and thinkers. Truly, they were as a pioneer power in the fields of thought and policy; as well as, on a concrete front that was based on the practical awareness and planning that enriched the Islamic library with thought and culture and resulted in making a strong ideological shock inside the Nation.

5.The Islamic Revolution in Iran:

In the beginning of the 20th century, since World War II, both the Islamic scholars (who joined Islamic movements and factions) and the enlightened, cultural personalities who were cooperating together, spared no efforts in launching a physical, political and cultural struggle by sacrificing their lives, familes and properties; by suffering in prisons when subjected to torture, killing and displacement, for the sake of setting up the pillars of Islam on earth. Likewise, they gave the chance for Islamic thought to come back in the form of practicing its original, leading role throughout the whole Nation, by implementing the Islamic laws and regulations which put an end to the conquest of civilization, with all its various aspects.

In spite of this leading role of these earnest efforts, they could not succeed in collapsing all the political entities that protected the anti-Islamic, deviated, uncivilized and ideological situations, except in Iran, in 1979, when under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (Allah may bless him), a revolution that was unprecedented in the world, exploded in the form of a revolutionary movement which called for establishing the model Islamic society and building the state, thought, and culture on the grounds of a religious ideology: Islam.

So, this movement is considered as an ideological, civilized intensive, shock that has awakened the Islamic intelligence, besides, putting the anit-Islamic currents and ideological schools into the critical corner of confusion. In fact, that rush that permeated civilization gave the Muslims, all over the world, many motives, to such a degree, that made them feel, with intensive emotion, the greatness of Islam on both the ideological and human levels, which enabled them to practice this in the field of struggle, in order to live free. We can say that the Islamic revolution, of Iran, has formed a separate era in the history of the Nation, from the first groundwork on establishing Islam to the very starting point of setting it up.

So, If that experience is completed, by way of it being provided with the necessary conditions for creating a process of change on the basis of Islamic rules and principles, it will give a visible image of the Islamic thought and culture with regard to all its fields.

  1. Through the Islamic writers and thinkers, as well as, the Islamic publishing houses:

The Islamic writers and thinkers and the Islamic publishing houses have taken an active hand in spreading awareness and Islamic culture, throughout the Nation, to stand against the anti-Islamic physical and cultural campaigns, and the wave that was caused by the factors of retardation and deviance. They have enriched Islamic thought by taking the young generation, in hand, on the Islamic right and pure route and provided them with the elements of ideological wakefulness and rebirth. Thus, some principal matters of comtemprary Islamic thought have been brought to light, dealing with its problems and the means by which it was given movement. As we have clearly kept those problems and renaissance elements within certain limits we should do our best to tackle every problem head on; that may be faced by the process of the growth of Islamic Ideology.

Also, it is a must for us to develop each element of the rebirth of Islamic Ideology and support it to ensure its survival for a good many years. (Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds)


  1. Narrated by Al-Hakim; who, quoting Mujahid and Ibn-Abbas, proved this tradition (hadith) in Musttadrak al-Sahiheyn, vol. 3, p. 126.
  2. Al-Fadhli, Abdul Hadi, "Logic Essence" (Khulasatul-Mantiq), p. 123, Al-Adab Press, A.H. 1385.
  3. Effi, Andrew Konwa (Physiology scientist), "The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe", p. 151.
  4. Ibid., p. 157.
  5. Herbert, George (professor of Applied Physics), "The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe" p. 79.
  6. Al-Sadr, Martyr Mohammad Baqir, "The Logical Principles of Induction", p. 469.
  7. Al-Sadr, Martyr , "The Recent Signs of Fundamentals", p. 161.
  8. Al-Sadr, Martyr, "Lessons on Principles Science-First Episode", Edition No. 1, p. 38.
  9. Al-Mudaffar, al-Shaikh Mohammad Rida, "Jurisprudence Principles", vol. 1, 2nd edition, p. 19.
  10. Al-Mashkinie, "Principles Terms".
  11. Baflof and Sigmund Freud.